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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

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be allowed to call " academic history ". The issue is
drawn because the two kinds of history differ in the
actual structure of the narrative and formulation of the*
theme, unless the contemporary history has been written
after great prayer and fasting, which seldom happens to
be the case. If what I have said is true, then the examina-
tion of the actual structure of a piece of historical narra-
tive can be at any rate one of the tests of the intellectual
quality of the work and the genuineness of its historiml
perspective. Furthermore, if any people should desire
to envisage the events of their own day with a certain
historical-mindedness, then we have at least a clue'to
the land of direction in which they should move in their
attempt to achieve the object. For if we realise the way
in which historical science develops in the course of time—
if we know even only one of the laws which govern its
development as it proceeds further away from the
merely contemporary point of view—then we have at
any rate a hint of the kind of thing which historical
perspective requires of us; and we can be to that
degree more hopeful in our attempt to hasten or
'anticipate the future verdict of historical science.
Behind the great conflicts of mankind is a terrible
human predicament which lies at the heart of the story;
and sooner or later the historian will base the very
structure of his narrative upon it. Contemporaries fail
to see the predicament or refuse to recognise its genuine-
ness, so that our knowledge of it comes from later
analysis—it is only with the progress of historical science
on a particular subject that men come really to recognise
that there was a terrible knot almost beyond the ingenuity